Jo Malone London Incense & Cedrat Cologne Intense launches today, an exceptional scent which I find almost hypnotic. Rich, smoky and dark, yet uplifting, I've compared it (on Instagram) to the whaft of a tall, dark and handsome stranger walking by.
COLOGNE INTENSE If you haven't tried the Jo Malone Cologne Intense line, it's a high(er) end collection of heady, sensual fragrances made with rare ingredients. If the main line is akin to a stroll along the beach, through fruit orchards or beautiful gardens, Cologne Intense is reclining on a leather chaise longue in candlelight, sipping a glass of something special. It's expensive, but has good lasting power on my skin and a little goes a long way. I've been through two bottles of the Dark Amber & Ginger Lily, which I loved, but Incense & Cedrat is in a league of its own.
UNISEX While I'd call a number of Jo Malone London fragrances unisex, this is definitely the most masculine I've tried to date... I've tested it out on both male and female friends, who loved it equally. This is always a good thing in my book, not least because sharing the cost helps justifies the purchase!
MAGIC I love the backstory to Incense & Cedrat - created by Master Perfumer, Marie Salamagne, using the scent of the world's most precious incense - Omani from the Boswellia sacra tree. In order to preserve this threatened tree and its environment, resinous incense tears were taken to the laboratory and their scent recreated with NaturePrint technology (using natural ingredients). This first for perfumery blows my mind and adds to the magic of this fragrance.
NOTES A radiant lemon and pepper opening is followed by an amber-like labdanum heart and smooth benzoin base, complemented by cedrat.
THE SCENT This floriental wood is heady, intoxicating and yet perfectly balanced. I love the juxtaposition of warmth and freshness, dark and brightness, green and spice. It's multi-layered and complex yet incredibly smooth. Straight from the bottle it makes my head spin (in a good way) and while initially I find it heady, it settles with a delicate, sweet woody softness throughout the day.
If I had to give this a season, it would be Autumn nights rather than Summer days, but there's no way I could hold off wearing it until then. I've tried layering it with another Jo Malone favourite, Wood Sage & Sea Salt, which complements its brightness, but I like it best worn alone.
In a nutshell: this is smoky, sexy and you seriously need to try it for yourself. Or gift your man pronto.
Jo Malone Incense & Cedrat Cologne Intense is available 1st June 2015.